A message from NEO…
Every young person has a name, a story… and a future.
You did. We did. And they do. NEO wants to know the names, hear the stories, and unlock the potential of those compelling futures. NEO is a grassroots youth movement, starting 5 years ago at Thursday Night Markets, hosting events anywhere and everywhere, and now embracing new vision of a Teen Center focused on hosting year-round alcohol and drug-free activities and events. Over these last five years, NEO has remained completely focused and dedicated on Nevada County youth: these are our kids. This is their time. This is their place.
One of the local conditions in Western Nevada County is the lack of youth-oriented activities. There is no YMCA, no centrally located place where teens can go to participate in recreational activities, skill building, and fun activities in a safe environment with positive caring adults. While the volunteers from The HangOut and Overtime have successfully provided alternatives for after school and Friday nights, our youth need something to accommodate everyday needs. Teens need a safe place to pop into where they can build relationships with caring adults and other teens experiencing the full potential for life without alcohol and drugs. The vision for the future is clear…our youth need to feel supported, have a voice, and believe that they are the future of our community.
What is NEO offering…?
NEO is offering a safe haven where youth can be themselves, and learn to be the leaders of the future. They can have responsible fun without running around the business district of Downtown Grass Valley and Nevada City. The ability to offer such a great alternative is in the hands of the community. Joining efforts with community members, businesses, and organizations that support the future of Western Nevada County and want to help in this mission is the key to successful development of a Teen Center.
Homework help, computer lab, chill time with friends, video games, snacks and cool workshops like CPR, Nutrition & Cooking, Youth Commission, Zumba, Books into Movies, Art, Teen Finance, Anti-Bullying and violence awareness… something for everyone!
On the Weekends…
Teens favorite music, sometimes performed by our own talented local youth bands, dancing, pool tournaments, video games, nachos, pizza, birthday celebrations, swim parties, open gym and sports nights, prizes, prizes and more prizes!
Anyone can become a part of the solution. Volunteer at events. Donate funds if you are able. Help us find a home. Right now, the vision of the NEO Teen Center is resting on the hope of a location and the community can certainly help make this vision a reality.
NEO Teen Center Needs:
· A facility that is centrally located in Grass Valley or Nevada City, with easy access for youth via walking or bus lines.
· 1500+ square feet, but we are flexible.
· Preferably 1 large room able to accommodate pool tables, couches, ping pong and concerts or dances with at least 2 smaller rooms for workshops, offices and storage space.
· Preferably has outdoor space on site or a park nearby.
· Handicap accessible.
· Kitchen is a plus.
We are hoping to find someone who is willing to donate their space for 6-12 months so that we can become established before finding a permanent location.
The July 20th, 2013 NEO Fest event marks our fifth anniversary and celebrates five years of providing New Events and Opportunities for youth. Over the last five years resources through the Coalition’s Drug-Free Communities grant have supported NEO’s activities and enabled us to expand our outreach. Not only are we celebrating the 5th anniversary of NEO, but we also celebrate a milestone of obtaining our non profit status which will help us in our efforts to open a teen center and sustain our outreach beyond the grant funding.
NEO empowers youth to make healthy lifestyle choices by providing New Events and Opportunities in a safe environment that encourages youth success and contributes to a healthier community.
The word NEO is prefix defined as new. NEO is a new way of thinking around making the choice to live a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on healthy alternatives. These events and opportunities create a safe environment which helps young people develop a sense of purpose, boost self-esteem, build skills for success, and be empowered to make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle.
NEO hosts and average of 70 events per year with approximately 7000 people attending. We’ve seen great success with our events, we’ve decided it’s time to build on this and work towards finding a permanent home, so instead of supporting young people just a few times a month we can be providing activities everyday of the week.